Once, In Massachusetts

I vaguely remember a family trip to the Boston area when I was younger. We travelled all around the coastal region while we were there, and I must have seen something that struck me as poignant. I’m pretty sure it was a statue of a woman and child looking out to sea, like a monument to sailors lost at sea. The memory has, of course faded, but I found this poem I wrote in 10th grade, when the memory was fresher, and the poem still resonates with me. That kind of statue makes sense for Massachusetts coastal communities, since they tend to thrive on the fishing and shipping industries. Those are traditionally dangerous occupations, especially in past decades and centuries.

 

A Song for the Lost Sailor

Hush, my child, hush

I’ll sing a song the drown the gale

Hush, my child, hush

Pray for your father gone to sail

The sun will be bright

The sky will be blue

He’ll come back to us

In a week or two

Play, my child, play

Collect smooth rocks along the beach

Play, my child, play

I long for your father to be within reach

The sun will be bright

The sky will be blue

He’ll come back to us

In a month or two

School, my child, school

There are many things that you must learn

School, my child, school

I’ll still watch for your father’s return

The sun will be bright

The sky will be blue

He’ll come back to us

In a year or two

Bells, my child, bells

Tolling for ships lost at sea

Bells, my child, bells

He’ll never come back to you and me

The sun is now dull

The sky is now gray

Yet I know in my heart

We will join him someday